Friday, September 6, 2013
September at Pachamama (3) Basketball players
As if that wasn’t enough, just when things were getting under control, a table of 14 rocks up: seven huge basketballers and their glamorous lady friends. Plus a 5 year old that our bambino started swatting with the menu. He was very good that night, playing by himself and not getting in the way. My husband got the table together into an L-shape, but then had to get back to the bar. The waitress was still flying out of the kitchen with courses and clearing tables, so it was up to me to take the order. This crowd were from Tuscany, France, Spain/South America and well-used to fine dining – I’d seen them chatting with my husband and thought they might have been fun. I detected the Tuscan accents and the Hispanic Italian. But they were only interested in ordering their food – after all it was going on for 11pm. Don’t these people book? Apparently they called half an hour before but it was so busy that by husband didn’t have time to set the table up for them. What an order. Anti-pasti and primi to come out together, and then primi and secondi to come out together because some wanted a starters and first while others just wanted a second course or starter and second. “You don’t love us,” wailed the cook when I came in waving the order, “This is the order you really didn’t want at this time of the night.” The kitchen had done really well that night, I thought. I had to go back and tell the basketball table there were only two tuna steaks left. “But the guy told us there were three,” protested the basketballer. “Her husband,” corrected another. “The cook’s only got two now.” My brain was too tired by this stage to make suggestions, but one of the girls went for the seafood couscous instead, a good choice. I heard another whisper that the wineglasses and the wine had yet to be brought. Groan. The wineglasses were upstairs and I knew it would take two trips. If you had booked, I wanted to say, we’d have had the table ready and waiting. It is a pain to set an L-shaped table. Sliding placemats and serviettes across the table, sticking knives and forks through people’s conversations, it’s not comfortable for anybody. In the end a gorgeous black basketballer took pity on me and took the cutlery off me and passed it around. As I opened the wine bottles and had them taste the wine, one of the glamorous girls said, “What about the wine coolers?” I smiled sweetly and pointed to the bar counter, where they were waiting. I have only two hands, one thing at a time, I may not be a waitress but I have picked up a few things in my time running this place…My son was upstairs playing DJ and summoned me at this point with his authoritative, “Mummeeee”! We left, holding hands, shortly after, and I still heard a “Scusa!” One of the guys wanted to know if they were going to have to wait much longer. They hadn’t been waiting long at all, I thought to myself. “They are just putting out the food now, I said, “won’t be long.” I smiled, and the guy calmed down, perhaps realizing he was pushing it. It was past my and bambino’s bedtime.